Kenyan AP goes on killing spree

Sunday November 7 2010

Eunice Mbura, mother to Anthony Mwaniki, a student who was among ten people shot dead by a police officer at Siakago Town on Saturday night. Photo/ JOSEPH KANYI

Eunice Mbura, mother to Anthony Mwaniki, a student who was among ten people shot dead by a police officer at Siakago Town on Saturday night. Photo/ JOSEPH KANYI  

By NATION TEAM [email protected]

A crazed administration police officer killed 10 people in Siakago town on Saturday night in a horrific killing spree.

He emptied his G3 on patrons having a drink in various bars in the quiet town before turning himself in at Siakago police station, apparently after an attempt at suicide failed.

The AP, who guarded the local district commissioner, was said to be angry at his girlfriend, whom he suspected to have been unfaithful. She is lucky to be alive, he couldn’t find her during his rampage. He also shot and killed his two colleagues who rushed to restrain him on hearing shots.

Those killed were AP constables Wilfred Gitonga and Fredrick Owako and civilians George Ng’ang’a, Kenwin Muthoni, Augostino Kinyua, Anthony Mwaniki and Fridah Ng’endo. Others were identified only as Rachel, Muchila and Muthini.

Local police said AP constable Peter Karanja was taken into custody and is helping with investigations. Witnesses said the shooter was sentry duty at the office and residence of the DC on Saturday night. After the DC went to bed, he excused himself, saying he was taking a toilet break.

Mbeere North DC John Chelimo said the officer is suspected to have gone looking for his girlfriend at New Coconut Bar, a short distance from the town’s police station. Once there, the AP cocked his rifle and opened fire, killing three patrons.

Then he walked over to Waiyaki Bar. He knocked on the door and when the barman came to answer, he killed him on the spot. From Waiyaki Bar he walked to Club Tha Shrek, where six people were drinking. He killed two women and two men then walked out.

He met two of his colleagues who had come to investigate the shooting. When they asked what the shooting was all about, he is reported to have told them to go and find and out. He shot both in the back before turning his weapon on himself... but he had run out of bullets.

“The officer came to Siakago police station and told the officers on the Occurence Book (OB) desk that he had shot and killed 10 people and that he had emptied the magazine,” said the area OCPD Jecinta Wesonga.

Wesonga confirmed that the shooter was transferred to Eastern police headquarters in Embu where he was being questioned. The bodies were taken to Siakago district hospital.

On Sunday morning, residents of Siakago, a town in the shadow of Kiang’ombe hill, woke up to blood on the streets and they protested in anger at the offices of the DC and the officer in charge of the police division.

“My twenty five year old daughter did not deserve to die like that. She has left a young boy and girl in my care in old age,” said Nyaga Manunga, with tears in his eyes.

His daughter, Ms Ng’endo, was a local shopkeeper and had gone for a drink with friends. She is among those killed.

Rashid Kinyua, 32, said they only saved themselves by hiding in the toilet where they ran to on hearing gunshots outside the bar.
Some in the crowd were in mourning, others were angry with the AP.

“They should ensure that those they entrust weapons with are of sound mind to avoid this kind of disaster ever happening again,” said David Njeru, a local resident.

Police spokesman Erick Kiraithe said: “It is the first incident of its kind and we are shocked. It is a matter of serious concern.

The Commissioner of Police (Mathew Iteere) is investigating and we are trying to see how this can be prevented in future.”

A team of senior administration police officers led by Commandant Kinuthia Mbugua left Nairobi on Sunday morning for Siakago.
Nairobi Metropolitan Development minister Mr Njeru Githae and said the officer involved should treated as a criminal.

Reported by Eric Mutai, John Njagi, Dominic Wabala and George Munene